Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • UN Security Council calls for Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire

    Read more

  • The third-place playoff: the World Cup game no one wants to play

    Read more

  • France’s Kadri wins eighth stage at Tour de France

    Read more

  • Legal challenge to French mayor’s ban of Muslim hijab on beach

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces ‘executed prisoners in reprisal’ for ISIS killings

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Kerry holds all-night talks with Afghan presidential rivals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Cleveland's NBA fans hail 'return of king' LeBron James

    Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • Magnitude 6.8 quake, small tsunami hit east Japan

    Read more

  • Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting drops extradition appeal

    Read more

Africa

Algerian censors block Bouteflika 'coma' reports

© Screen grab

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-05-21

Algerian authorities have censored two newspapers for printing information about President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s “declining” health. Bouteflika has not been seen since he was admitted to a Paris hospital late April.

For the first time in decades, two Algerian newspapers were censored and blocked from publication by the government on Saturday evening.

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, last seen on April 17. © AFP

The francophone daily "Mon journal" (My paper), and its Arabic affiliate "Djaridati" were planning on publishing two pages, including the front, on President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s “declining” health, witht the claims that he had returned to Algeria and was in a “comatose” state.

The 76-year-old president was taken to the Val-de-Grâce hospital in Paris for a “minor stroke” late April, and Algerians have not seen or heard from him since, leaving room for speculation.At the time, the stroke raised “no worries,” according to the premier’s office.

In early May, officials made a short statement saying his health was “seriously improving,” and rumours had him resting in Switzerland.

Silence and speculation

ABDELaziz Bouteflika and the Algerian economy

Bouteflika, in power since 1999, was expected to run for a fourth term in office next year. But speculation about his declining health has become a permanent feature in Algerian politics, not least because of the government’s sparing reports on the matter.

“According to my sources -- I personally did not see anything,  but I have my sources, which I cross-check and verify -- the president is in Algeria,” Hichem Aboud, head of both newspapers, told FRANCE 24.

“My sources say that he’s neither in Geneva, Switzerland, nor in the Val-de-Grâce hospital in Paris. He is in Algeria. He arrived at dawn on Wednesday [May 15], after leaving Paris at 3am,” specified the former member of the military who now opposes the regime.

“His health is declining, which is why they transferred him to Algiers,” said Aboud. “The Val-de-Grâce hospital could no longer help. We’ve been told he’s in a deep coma that can go on for days or weeks. That is what we put in those two pages.”

“We refused self-censorship”

The head of “Mon journal” and "Djaridati" added that his sources were both “French medical teams and the Algerian president’s entourage.”

Aboud told the AFP that the two papers were held in the printing room on Saturday night. “The Communication ministry asked us to delete the two pages on president Bouteflika’s health entirely from the edition,” he said.

Abdelaziz Bouteflika's complex relationship with France

“We refused self-censorship,” he continued, explaining that it was “technically impossible to cut two pages out of the 24-page-long papers."

For Aboud, the authority’s attitude confirms the information they had on Bouteflika’s health.

If their claims were “entirely false, the best solution for the authorities would’ve been to publish a statement from the president’s doctors denying the claims,” he said, “or better yet -- show us images of Mr. Bouteflika.”

Bouteflika’s last appearance in public was on April 17, at the funeral of a highly-ranked official.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-05-19

  • ALGERIA

    Algeria's Bouteflika in Paris hospital after minor stroke

    Read more

  • ALGERIA

    Algeria's Bouteflika sacks head of state energy firm

    Read more

  • ALGERIA

    Bouteflika promises political reform

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)